CWU News

CWU's Barto Hall Achieves a LEED Platinum Certification

Barto Hall, Central Washington University's newest residence hall, has received a coveted LEED Platinum certification—the highest level possible. The United States Council on Green Building (USCGB) awards the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifications, and Washington has embraced this standard for state-funded buildings. Barto Hall is one of only four LEED Platinum-certified buildings on college campuses in Washington State.

LEED is a national certification system developed by the USGBC to encourage the construction of energy and resource-efficient buildings that are healthy to live in.

“The Platinum-certification is exciting news,” said James L. Gaudino, CWU president. “It reflects the effort of many people who worked hard to achieve this distinction. It also underscores our commitment to the environment and to our future students.”

“University Housing and New Student Programs, through this designation, continues our commitment to environmental sustainability," said Richard DeShields, dean of Student Success. "In developing Barto Hall, our students asked for continued care for the environment. And we wanted a more sustainable living environment for our students."

“We are so proud that our newest residence hall received Platinum,” said Joanne Hillemann, architect, LEED AP, and manager of Facilities Planning and Construction.
"But we couldn't have achieved this without Housing and New Student Programs' commitment to students' overall well-being, and to the environment."

In addition, said Hillemann, CWU worked with Studio Meng Strazzara, who were experts in LEED planning and construction, and have designed other notable CWU buildings, including the McIntyre Music Building and Wendell Hill Hall.

Barto Hall, which opened in 2012, has 368 beds in 116,000 square feet of space, more than double the original Barto, (which was demolished in 2010). The residence hall atmosphere is oriented towards first year students, and houses improved Residence Life Offices, as well as the Wellington Event Center. The $34.5 million structure was Central's first LEED-registered residential project, and the first to be certified Platinum.

There are many advanced green features incorporated into Barto's construction, such as solar energy from roof-mounted solar collectors, a high-performance building envelope and mechanical systems, water conserving plumbing fixtures, local and regional building materials., and state-of-the-art metering and monitoring systems that allow engineers to confirm that systems are performing at peak efficiency.

In addition, at least 75 percent of the construction waste material was recycled and reused, keeping it from a landfill. And more than 70 percent of the demolition waste from the old Barto Hall was diverted from the landfill by recycling, reusing, and salvaging the materials.

Other buildings on CWU's Ellensburg campus have also received LEED certification.

"CWU’s first LEED certified building was Dean Hall, originally targeted for LEED Silver, but, in fact, received a Gold certification in 2010," Hillemann noted. "Subsequently, Hogue Technology earned LEED Gold, and Science II is in the LEED submission phase—targeting Silver but with potential to achieve Gold."

“Barto Hall’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize the built environment by providing everyone with a healthy, green and high performing buildings. Barto Hall serves as a prime example of how the work of innovative building projects can use local solutions to make a global impact on the environment.”

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,